Wheeler Passes Life Saving Legislation
Springfield, IL… There is a new mammogram controversy, and State Rep. Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) wants to protect women from hard to detect breast cancer.
Women with dense breast tissue are four to six times more likely to develop breast cancer, yet mammograms have a hard time detecting cancer in this type of tissue.
In response, Rep. Wheeler passed Senate Bill 2314, which will require doctors to explain in layman’s terms the meaning and consequences of “dense breast tissue.”
“This is a growing concern for woman. Early detection is the most effective way to survive breast cancer, yet doctors do not have clear standards to explain what ‘dense breast tissue’ is,” said Wheeler. “We need to be giving women every tool to save their lives from this awful disease.”
There are many reasons why doctors are not currently explaining this common, yet risk-filled problem.
The most effective way to detect breast cancer in dense tissue is through an MRI or ultrasound, which can add significant cost to cancer screening.
These tests are typically reserved for woman with a high risk of breast cancer, which can cause a sense of fear among those who are recommended to have additional testing.
Regardless, Wheeler believes lifesaving information trumps the potential fear and cost.
“My bill simply requires doctors to explain to women the risks and consequences of dense tissue, leaving the option of further tests up to the patient,” said Wheeler.
“The more information women have about their potential risks, the better chances they have at lifesaving treatment.”
SB 2314 has passed both legislative bodies and is now on the governor’s desk awaiting his signature.